Venue: The Country Club in Brookline, Mass
Date: June 16th – 19th
Purse: $17.5 million
Winner: Matt Fitzpatrick
Sunday at The Country Club at Brookline is what makes golf great. Matt Fitzpatrick shot a 68 on Sunday at The Country Club to beat Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler by a stroke as he won his first major championship at the same place he won the 2013 U.S. Amateur. The 2022 U.S. Open kept golf fans on the edge of their seats all week, as the top golfers in the world battled each other, and the unforgiving course to hang in there long enough to have a chance to win on Sunday afternoon.
The leader board was full of the top names in golf all weekend, including Collin Morikawa, who looked unbeatable as he led halfway through the tournament and was poised to become the first golfer to win three majors in his first 11 such starts since the Masters started in 1934, but The Country Club gobbled him up on Saturday as he finished his round with a 77, dropping him from the leader board and contention.
Even on Sunday, the top three players in the world were in contention at one point, Scottie Scheffler (No. 1), Jon Rahm (No. 2), and Rory McIlroy (No. 3), and occupied three of the top four spots on the leader board, but Rahm and McLlroy could not put it all together as they both missed opportunities, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as Fitzpatrick, 27, edged his 54-hole co-leader Will Zalatoris and 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler by one stroke to hoist the trophy.
Fitzpatrick, who was the second-highest ranked golfer in the world without a PGA Tour victory, led Zalatoris by one at the turn, with both seeking their first career majors, and PGA Tour wins. Over the next two hours, the pair battled back and forth with some of the most riveting golf we’ve seen in years at a major. A three-shot swing at No. 11 gave Zalatoris a two-shot lead over Fitzpatrick after finishing the short par-3 with a three-putt, and it looked as if Zalatoris had taken control.
I assumed that was it for Fitzpatrick, but it was actually the opposite, as it seemed to ignite him, and after a birdie on the par-4 13th, Fitzpatrick jumped back into a share of the lead with Zalatoris at 5-under. Then, after missing the fairway on the 15th, Fitzpatrick hit one of the best iron shots of the day to set up a birdie look on the lengthy par-4. But instead, Zalatoris recorded a bogey, and Fitzpatrick walked in his third shot and grabbed a two-stroke lead.
After trading pars with Zalatoris on the accessible 17th, Fitzpatrick went to the 72nd hole with a one-stroke edge. Nerves seemed to take hold of him as he found the fairway bunker off the tee, but he didn’t let it rattle him as he made a tournament saving shot onto the green that set up his U.S. Open triumph. Fitzpatrick missed an 18-foot birdie putt to clinch the win, but Zalatoris missed a similar 14-foot putt by a hair as Fitzpatrick posted his third 68 of the tournament, and first PGA Tour victory.